Mol, Hungary’s largest refining company, announced on Wednesday that it has paid the transit tariffs owed by Russia to Ukraine, to resolve a dispute that led to the interruption of oil deliveries through the Drujba pipeline, reports Bloomberg, according to Agerpres.
Mol specified that both Ukraine and Russia accepted his decision to intervene and pay the transit tariffs.
“Mol has conducted negotiations with the Russian and Ukrainian parties regarding the resumption of oil transport through the Drujba pipeline,” the Hungarian company informed in a press release, adding that it “transferred the amounts due for the use of the Ukrainian section” of the Drujba pipeline.
On Tuesday, Ukraine suspended deliveries of Russian oil to three European countries (Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) through the Drujba pipeline, after the Russian group Transneft could not pay the transit rights for the month of August owed to the Ukrainian operator UkrTransNafta. Consequently, UkrTransNafta “ceased to provide oil transport services via Ukrainian territory, starting on August 4”, Transneft stated.
The existing contract between Transneft and UkrTransNafta provides for the advance payment of all transit tariffs for Russian oil passing through the Ukrainian section of the Drujba pipeline. Transneft explained that it paid transit rights for the month of August to Ukrainian operator UkrTransNafta on July 22, but the money was returned on July 28 because the payment was not processed. The Russian bank Gazprombank, which brokered the transaction, explained that the money was returned due to restrictions imposed by the European Union.
“By assuming the payment of the tariffs, Mol can offer a quick solution to the dispute. The Ukrainian side promised to resume oil transportation within a few days”, the Hungarian company also informed.
Russia normally supplies about 250,000 barrels a day via a southern branch of the Drujba pipeline that runs through Ukraine and serves three landlocked European states, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
In June, the European Union adopted a progressive embargo on Russian oil, which specifically calls for a halt to Russian oil imports by ship over the next six months. Instead, the supply of Russian oil via the Drujba pipeline was allowed to continue “temporarily”, a concession granted to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country is 65% dependent on cheap Russian oil.
Hungarians buy cheap Russian crude oil and sell expensive fuels in Romania